It’s planting time in most parts of the country, and many of you are growing squash in your landscape. This week, Ros received a reader question about dealing with those nasty squash bugs. Read on for more information…
Q: (…) how do you keep the squash bugs away. I have them every year with no way to rid them. I would not put toxic poison out, I want it ito be free of bugs and snakes with out poison.– Pearl
A: Hi Pearl,
Squash bugs can be a persistent problem along the East Coast and in Midwest gardens. To keep them under control, choose summer squash as they are more resistant than winter squashes and pumpkins. Two suggestions for control: keep mulch well away from squash plants as the bugs congregate under loose material to avoid the heat of the day and cover young plants with floating row covers. When they start to bloom, remove the covering so bees can pollinate the flowers. By that time the plants should be large enough to withstand the bugs but if you occasionally hand gather them in the early morning while they still move slowly and drown them in a can of soapy water, you can keep the hoards at bay.
As far as the snakes, of course they are great for the ecosystem, but certainly not welcome in the garden under your squash. Visit the website: http://www.chiff.com/a/garden-snakes.htm for lots of good ideas for keeping them out of your garden.
Adult Squash Bug
Photo Credit: By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons